Outside the marginals

A commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010, 2015 & 2017 elections (and THAT referendum)

Archive for the category “Environment”

A Failure of Parliamentary Democracy – the ongoing tale

Scope: UK Politics

All sides seem fed up with the way the Brexit negotiations have been handled, but in Parliament they seem so focused on Deal or No-Deal that they are not asking “why are we in this mess?”.

The answer would seem to be multiple failures of Parliamentary Democracy.

Read more…
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Leave has lost the plot

How out of touch can you get? Vote Leave were always saying that the remainers were “out of touch”. I suspect it is not unique to one sect or the other but endemic in Westminster.

Leading Vote Leave figure Gisela Stuart says EU citizens in the UK have been “left in limbo” since the referendum.

The Labour MP will head a research project on how to protect their rights after the UK leaves the EU.
BBC News Website, 16 August 2016 | EU citizens ‘left in limbo’, says Vote Leave MP Gisela Stuart

Just how out of touch is she! Read more…

Running away from a Runaway Problem

So the Tories have bottled it; they won’t make a decision about the next London runway until after the mayoral elections.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the government would “continue to work on all shortlisted locations”.

A decision had previously been expected by the end of this year.

An independent report on airport expansion by Sir Howard Davies in July backed a plan to build a third runway at Heathrow.

But he said that the new runway should come with severe restrictions to reduce the environmental and noise effects, and did not completely rule out a second runway at Gatwick.
BBC New Website, 10 December 2015 : Heathrow Airport runway decision delayed until summer

The decision is actually easy – if you are not frightened politically. Read more…

Water water everywhere

Do we get the environment we deserve? I fear we do. So many public utterances – initially by the public but repeated echo-like by our Lords and masters – seem to illustrate a wilful refusal to engage with science. (And that last word has probably lost me half those who read this blog – and the other half probably know what is coming and will agree anyway!)

So how do I make the accusation of a “wilful refusal” stand up? Read more…

Whatever it costs (2)

Our dear Prime Minister was deeply concerned about the flooding in the Thames Valley around Oxfordshire (where his constituency is), Buckinghamshire and Berkshire (where Theresa May’s constituency is).

Money is no object in this relief effort. Whatever money is needed we will spend it.
BBC News Website 11 February 2014: UK floods: PM says money ‘no object’ in relief effort

Nice to know (then); what about now? Read more…

Nudge Taxes

For a couple of months we (in England, UK) have had a “plastic bag tax” of 5p per bag. It is actually a compulsory levy as the proceeds do not go to the exchequer but to good causes.

What is remarkable is the impact this tax has had and how this compares to the uproar in certain areas about the idea of a sugar tax.

Read more…

Is Water a Natural Monopoly?

Millions of householders in England could soon be given more choice over which company supplies part of their water services.

The government has announced that there could be limited competition between suppliers by the end of the parliament in 2020.

The choice will involve services such as billing and customer services, but not the water supply itself.
BBC News Website, 30 November 2015 : Consumers in England to get choice of water services

OK, so the story at the moment is lacking in detail but at first glance this strikes me as daft and possibly leading to some incongruities. Read more…

Steeling ourselves for industrial collapse

Administrators from PwC have been appointed to run some parts of the Caparo group empire. …

Steel giant Tata is expected to announce major job losses on Tuesday. Recently the UK’s second largest steelmaker, SSI, went into liquidation. …

Matt Hammond, lead administrator [of Caparo] and partner at PwC, said: “This is a significant business with a wide range of interests across steel, engineering, vehicles products and technologies. Its scale and reach into significant customers and its importance to suppliers cannot be understated. We will be rapidly assessing all options for the businesses through this week and beyond.”
BBC News website, 19 October 2015 : Caparo steel goes into partial administration

There are numerous reasons for the problems, but there seems to be only one reason for the collapse of this industry; Read more…

First 100 Days

We are currently 71 days into this government and beginning to see its true colours. The “100 days” mark will occur during recess, so possibly it is worth reviewing how this “One Nation” government is doing.

Read more…

Is an Unrepresentative Parliament a necessary EVEL?

The Scots (specifically the Scottish Nationalists at Westminster) look to be about to “save the fox“. That raises yet more questions about Cameron’s piecemeal approach to a new “constitutional settlement”.

This arises from the unanswered question about what the UK Parliament at Westminster should be. Whilst I have often complained that I am unrepresented in Parliament, I none-the-less subscribe to the belief that a Parliament should be a representative body rather than merely a body of representatives.

The difference is important and possibly holds the key to the current “Westminster Question”. Read more…

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